Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since one of my suggestion posts. Let’s get started!
So, this came up when I heard them mention Tony working on the new construction engine for Stonehearth during stream yesterday. I was thinking back to some of the things I remember from the system I remembered were good and those that maybe I felt had even more potential for innovation (one of these was a “foundation” for the walls in a construction to prevent the gap issue between floor and wall; see my previous thread).
But one thing I see trouble (or limitations) with is windows and doors. This came up when Tom was designing the different sized crates, and there had to be a decision on what sizes would go in the game (ultimately, mostly an aesthetic issue for me). Windows especially might be trouble, since creative-game players like to make all sorts of shapes and sizes for their constructions. If they’re limited to the preset “Frames” that the crafters can make (currently only the Carpenter), there’s a lot of potential diversity lost.
So, I present my newest concept: Segment-Based Customization in Construction!
Allow me to offer a few illustrations I made:
Essentially. in addition to basic, whole-part windows as we’ve already seen, players have the opportunity to make custom-design objects for their constructions, allowing a much larger amount of creativity in the components used in a build. Think of it similar to building toys like Legos and K’nex, where the parts are put together for the larger object (with of course, some eventual max limits to avoid anything TOO crazy (no world-height windows, obviously).
Creativity–As said, such an idea would really open up the building aspect of Stonehearth, which is a huge draw for the game’s community.
Even more crafter functionality–Segments/components could still function off preexisting classes already being implemented. And as more materials and crafter types become available to the player, so do their options.
More Special Trader possibilities–Some ‘fancy’ or ‘foreign’ components could be made to be only obtainable through traders or events, giving even more attraction to keeping a healthy trading economy going in your city. Be the envy of your warring, isolationist friends!
Morale Boost–Custom components made from more valuable materials can raise your Hearthlings’ overall happiness in regards to their living spaces and surroundings. And since a bigger, fancier window lets in more light then a smaller one, the size can also factor into the effect!
Of course, there’s potential issues with the system, several of which I’d like to address here so the community can discuss (and add to) the list:
- Implementation–The very first thing that needs to get addressed: this would be an entirely new sub-system in the building portion of Stonehearth. There’d need to be a lot of coding to make it work, but this might be the best time to bring it up, since the construction system is currently being revisited by Team Radiant.
- Component recognition in construction–Tied in to implementation, component-based objects will need to be able to work in numerous construction situations for diversity’s and performance’s sake. If one custom window is enough to kill frame rate, it won’t be worth it. Damage-resistance and integrity will also need to be considered, just like the regular walls, floors, and roofs (possibly just through individual pieces).
- Higher cost–Being made of crafted, custom items, the components would likely cost more than just a basic, fixed-size window. Considering the possible advantages though, maybe this should be expected.
Size–By no means should a player be able to make a window the size of a mountain and get a huge morale boost for everyone by spamming the sub-system’s benefits. There will need to be maximum X-Y-Z limits for different possible creations to avoid unrealistic (and unfair) objects.
Customizable objects–not every item will be able to use this system that I’d like it to–for example, doors. Due to their animation and multi-part construction, custom-size doors might lie more in the realm of modders. Who knows? Stonehearth is still young.
Transparency issues with voxels–I believe I remember Tom mentioning the absence of ‘transparency’ with voxels. With the illustration I made, I used ‘components’ that combined both part of the wooden frame and the window edges. These two different ‘materials’ might not be able to be combined into a single model like this (unless glass is represented via crossed wire or reflection lines). We’ve yet to see glass yet in the game, so we’ll have to see what happens. At the very least, components could work for the boundaries of a window (and not include the window itself).
So, these are my initial notes for the suggestion–hope you found it interesting! Please make sure to mention any additional benefits or issues you see that I missed, as well as your own impressions!